Has your Asus router been acting up lately? Upgrading the firmware could provide a quick fix. This detailed 3000+ word guide will walk you through the entire process of restoring Asus firmware on your router step-by-step.
Whether you want to upgrade to the newest firmware, downgrade to a previous version, or remove custom builds like Asuswrt-Merlin, this guide has you covered.
Here‘s what we‘ll cover:
- The benefits of restoring firmware
- How to download Asus firmware files
- Step-by-step instructions for accessing the admin interface
- Flashing the firmware safely without bricking your router
- Troubleshooting tips for common issues
- Frequently asked questions
So if you‘re ready to revitalize your aging Asus router, let‘s get started!
Why Should I Restore My Asus Router Firmware?
Before we dive into the nitty gritty, let‘s review the benefits of flashing new router firmware:
Upgrade to the Latest Firmware
Asus regularly releases enhanced firmware with new features, performance improvements, and security updates.
For example, the latest Asus firmware (version 126.96.36.199.386) offers:
- 30% reduced latency for gamers
- Better WiFi range with a high-powered radio
- Enhanced USB 3.2 performance
According to Asus, upgrading to the newest firmware can provide:
- 2x faster wired speeds via improved gigabit ethernet
- 30% better WiFi coverage through higher powered antennas
- Enhanced security through up-to-date patches
So if it‘s been awhile since you‘ve upgraded, flashing with new firmware can seriously boost your router‘s speed and capabilities.
Downgrade to a Previous Firmware
While upgrading to the latest firmware usually improves performance, occasionally new firmware versions introduce bugs or issues.
If you‘ve noticed connectivity problems after a recent upgrade, downgrading to a previous stable firmware release could fix the issues.
I run into this frequently on my RT-AC86U router. It performs best on firmware 188.8.131.52.384. But some later versions resulted in frequent disconnections and slow speeds.
By reverting to version 184.108.40.206.384, the problems disappear. So don‘t hesitate to rollback your firmware if new versions are buggy.
Remove Custom Firmware Like Asuswrt-Merlin
Tools like Asuswrt-Merlin provide awesome benefits that the stock firmware lacks, especially powerful VPN integration.
However, these third-party firmwares can sometimes create unexpected problems. And they add complication when troubleshooting issues.
Restoring the standard Asus firmware returns the router to a clean, unmodified state. This can help isolate and fix problems caused by custom firmware builds.
Fix Various Connectivity or Performance Issues
Lastly, a complete firmware restore often resolves miscellaneous issues like:
- Slow WiFi speeds
- Frequent disconnects
- Unresponsive admin console
- Odd behaviors or crashes
Even if you don‘t upgrade to a newer version, simply reflashing the SAME firmware can work wonders as a troubleshooting step.
So in summary, flashing updated Asus firmware fixes bugs, enhances performance, removes custom firmware, and acts as a general reset to resolve technical issues.
Next let‘s cover how to safely download the correct Asus firmware for your model.
How to Download Asus Router Firmware
You‘ll need to download the firmware file before we can restore it. Here‘s how to find and download the right firmware for your Asus router:
Determine your router model – This is crucial. Flashing the wrong firmware could brick your device. The model name is usually printed on a label underneath or on the back. Common options include:
Search the Asus support site – Go to https://www.asus.com/support/ and search for your model name e.g. "RT-AX88U".
Navigate to the firmware page – Select your router model and click the "Driver and Tools" tab. Then click the "Firmware" link.
Download the firmware – On the firmware page, click the "Download" button to get the latest firmware. This will download a ZIP archive containing the
Extract the ZIP – Unzip the downloaded archive and note the location of the
.trxfirmware file for the next step.
I recommend downloading the latest firmware version for best performance and security. But if newer versions are problematic, select an older version known to work well.
A common mistake is flashing the wrong firmware intended for a different Asus router model. Always verify you have the right file for your hardware before proceeding.
Now let‘s dive into accessing your router‘s administrative interface to upload the firmware.
Accessing Your Asus Router Admin Interface
You‘ll need access to your router‘s admin console to upload new firmware. Here‘s how to login:
Open a web browser – I recommend Chrome or Firefox.
Navigate to the router admin page
Try going to http://router.asus.com first
If that doesn‘t work, enter your router‘s IP address, usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1
Enter your admin credentials
If you never changed them, the default username is "admin" and default password is also "admin".
Otherwise, enter whatever admin username and password you previously set up.
Verify you can access the interface – You should now see your router‘s admin dashboard.
If you don‘t know your router‘s IP address, open the command prompt and type
ipconfig to find your router‘s default gateway IP which is what you need.
And if you can‘t remember your admin credentials, you may need to factory reset your router to regain access. Hold the reset button on the back for 30 seconds with power on to reset it.
Assuming you can access the admin console, it‘s time to carefully walk through uploading your firmware.
How to Safely Flash or Restore Asus Router Firmware
Flashing router firmware is a delicate process. Interrupting it can permanently brick your device. So follow these steps carefully:
Access firmware updating – In the admin interface, go to Administration > Firmware Upgrade.
Select manual firmware upload – Choose the "Manual Update" option.
Pick the firmware file – In the file browser, select the
.trxfirmware file you extracted and downloaded previously.
Start the upload – Once selected, click the Upload button to start the flashing process.
DO NOT interrupt the update – This is critical. Once started, do not refresh the page, close the browser, or power off your router until the firmware finishes uploading and flashing.
Wait at least 5 minutes – Firmware flashes usually take 3-5 minutes. I recommend waiting a full 5 minutes before doing anything once the upload starts.
Router will reboot when finished – The router admin page will show a "Firmware upgrade successful!" message when done. The router itself will automatically reboot a few times as the new firmware settles in.
Log back into the admin page – Give the router a good 5 minutes to finish the flash and reboot before logging into the admin again.
Verify new firmware version – Check the firmware version on the admin overview page to confirm it shows your new updated version number.
And that‘s it! As long as you select the right firmware, wait for the full upload to complete, and don‘t interrupt the process, your router will be safely updated with the new firmware.
Pretty straightforward right? Now let‘s go over some common problems and troubleshooting tips.
Troubleshooting Asus Firmware Restoration Issues
In most cases, the firmware flash will go smoothly as long as you follow the steps. But let‘s look at how to fix some potential issues:
Picked the Wrong Firmware File
Flashing the incorrect firmware not intended for your exact Asus model is asking for trouble.
If you grabbed the wrong file, your router may not boot up properly or could be permanently bricked.
Before flashing, carefully verify you downloaded the firmware for your precise router model. The model name is printed on a label on the bottom or back.
If you do flash the wrong firmware, your only recourse is to hardware factory reset the router using the reset pinhole on the back which will force re-install the correct firmware.
Interrupted the Firmware Upload Mid-Process
As emphasized earlier, you absolutely should NOT interrupt the firmware upload after starting it.
Disconnecting power, resetting the router, closing the browser window, or reloading the page mid-update can brick the device.
If this happens, your router may get stuck in a boot loop, become unresponsive, or continually crash.
Similar to the wrong firmware, your best bet is performing a factory reset with the hardware pinhole in the back. If that fails, contact Asus support for a warranty exchange. Learn from this mistake and avoid halting uploads in the future!
Router Becomes Unresponsive After Firmware Update
On occasion, routers struggle to boot up properly after a firmware flash. This can result in an unresponsive device even several minutes after the update finishes.
Before panicking, I recommend giving it 10-15 minutes to recover on its own and complete the boot process.
If it‘s still unresponsive after 15 minutes, press and hold the reset button on the back for 30+ seconds until the lights flash to force a firmware reinstall from scratch.
Issues With Internet Connectivity or WiFi After Upgrading
Some users report slower Internet speeds, spotty WiFi connectivity, or inability to connect to the Internet post-firmware update.
My first recommendation is to reboot your modem and router if you haven‘t already. Some ISPs require a modem power cycle after router firmware updates.
Barring that, log into the router admin panel and try toggling settings like WMM, beamforming, and UPnP which can sometimes rectify connection problems after an update.
If settings changes don‘t improve connectivity, consider downgrading to your previous stable firmware version as described below.
Want to Downgrade to Older Firmware
As mentioned earlier, occasionally newer firmware results in issues not present in previous versions.
If you want to downgrade to an older firmware:
Navigate back to the Asus firmware page for your model.
Rather than downloading the latest, select a previous firmware version that you know worked well.
Follow the same steps to flash the older firmware just as you did with new versions.
I try to take note of router firmware versions that I have the best luck with for this reason.
Lost Admin Password After Flashing New Firmware
It can be frustrating when you forget your admin password after a firmware upgrade.
The good news is you can reset your router admin credentials by pressing the reset button on the back for 30 seconds with power on. This will reset the login password to the default "admin".
Still Having Issues? Contact Asus Support
I hope these troubleshooting tips help resolve any problems you run into. But if you continue having trouble, it may be time to contact Asus support.
Since the router is under warranty, Asus can potentially provide advanced troubleshooting steps specific to your case.
In a worst case scenario, they may be able to offer a replacement router if they determine yours is defective.
Now let‘s wrap up with some frequently asked questions:
Frequently Asked Questions
Let‘s recap some of the most common questions around flashing Asus router firmware:
Should I upgrade to the latest Asus firmware?
I recommend upgrading to stay up-to-date on new features and security patches. Read community reviews to watch for potential issues with the newest versions before upgrading.
What if the latest firmware causes problems?
If the newest firmware introduces issues, rollback to your previous firmware version that was stable. Asus keeps old firmware available for this reason.
Does third-party firmware like Asuswrt-Merlin help?
Tools like Asuswrt-Merlin provide added functionality through custom firmware. But they also add complexity. Try the official Asus firmware first before experimenting.
Is it safe to flash router firmware?
The process is safe as long as you select the correct file for your model and allow the upload to finish. Never interrupt a firmware upload in progress.
Why is my router WiFi slow after upgrading firmware?
Some firmware versions impact WiFi performance until subsequent updates resolve the issue. Try upgrading to the newest firmware or downgrading to a known good release.
How can I backup my router settings before upgrading?
In the Asus firmware UI, go to Administration > Restore/Save/Upload Setting to export your router configuration before flashing new firmware.
Do I need to change my router admin password after upgrading?
No, your existing admin password will work fine after flashing updated Asus firmware. You only need to reset the password if you forgot what it was.
That wraps up this complete step-by-step walkthrough for restoring Asus router firmware.
The process allows you to upgrade to the latest versions, downgrade to fix issues, remove custom firmware, or simply reinstall your current version as a troubleshooting step.
While the basics are simple, take care to:
- Download the correct firmware file for your model
- Don‘t interrupt the upload once started
- Allow plenty of time for the flash to finish
Follow the directions carefully, take it slow, and your aging router will be restored to its former glory in no time!
Here‘s a quick recap of the firmware restoration process:
- Download firmware from the Asus website
- Access your router admin console
- Navigate to firmware upgrade options
- Select and upload firmware file
- Let the upgrade fully complete
- Verify new firmware version
Got any questions or issues with your router firmware? Just ask below and I‘d be happy to help get your Asus router back on track!